These words from local wahine Taylor Hill, who has launched a Days For Girls group in Southland, with the backing of Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, to provide women’s hygiene products to those in need.
Days For Girls is a network of thousands of volunteers across the world who provide reusable menstrual kits, education, awareness, and dignity to women and girls in need. Its website says it was started in 2008 in Nairobi when founder and CEO Celeste Mergens learnt that girls were missing school, sometimes going without food, and sitting on cardboard for several days each month.
Having no sanitary supplies is the number one reason girls drop out of school in developing countries, the website says.
With more than 70,000 volunteers across the globe but none in Southland, Taylor Hill, who is a kaimahi at Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, is gathering a team of volunteers to assist in producing the products, with the support of Nga Kete.
Taylor said the international reusable menstrual kits include shields, liners, underwear, a transport bag, washcloth, soap, care instructions and a bag to carry it all. The local kits include shields, lines, and a carry bag. The products are washable, reusable and if taken care of properly will last for at least three years. The products will be sewn by local volunteers with fabric donated by members of the community.
The products will then be either sent overseas to developing countries, or donated to local wahine in need.
“I wouldn’t want my own daughter to have to sit on cardboard and miss out on school, and if I can help change it for someone else’s daughter I will do that,” Miss Hill said.
“We can all help someone somewhere. I am just starting with Southland women and girls.”
Nga Kete currently has 40 kits available. For information on how to access a kit, or on how to join the group, contact Taylor Hill on 022 083 9357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will you help us? Any fabric you could donate would be gratefully accepted (medium/dark colours, no animal or cultural prints and 100% cotton). Donations to Nga Kete, 92 Spey Street, Level 2.